Ian Kittichai: Founding Partner
Chef Pongtawat "Ian" Chalermkittichai "Kittichai" is Thailand's first international celebrity chef. An unlikely candidate, Ian came from humble roots pushing a food cart through his Bangkok neighborhood as a child. Hard work and fate guided him to a culinary school scholarship, a French fine-dining apprenticeship in Sydney’s legendary Claude’s, and then pushed him to become the first Thai national in the world to become the Executive Chef of a 5-star hotel, the legendary Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok. Frederic Meyer is an entrepreneur originally from Paris. In 1999 he was appointed Director of Research and Development of the Blue Elephant Group based in Belgium. During his time with Blue Elephant Group he spearheaded the expansion of the restaurant brand into various countries, a cooking school, and a global grocery line.
With a weekly cooking television show since 2001, Chef Mue Thong (Golden Hand Chef), which can currently be seen in over 70 countries around the world, his audience is truly global. Chef Kittichai created the celebrated NYC restaurant, Kittichai Restaurant, in 2004. In 2008 he left to form his global food & beverage management and consulting firm, Cuisine Concept Co., Ltd., through which he created Murmuri in Barcelona and currently advises an impressive roster of hotels, restaurants, and food company clients worldwide. In 2010 he opened Thailand’s first gastro pub - Hyde & Seek Gastro Bar - in Bangkok and then his third signature Thai restaurant - KOH by Ian Kittichai - at the Intercontinental Marine Drive Hotel in Mumbai. In 2011 he opened Ember Room in New York City and re-launched Spot Dessert Bar, both with Chase Restaurant Group. Chef Kittichai released his first cookbook, Chef Ian’s Kitchen Revealed, for the Thai language market in 2011 and was awarded as Best Chef & Author Cookbook in Thailand by the Gourmand Awards.
In January 2012 Chef debuted to a 15,000,000 fan following as one of the permanent Iron Chefs on the Iron Chef Thailand television show. Also in 2012 Chef opened Smith, Bangkok’s first international “nose to tail” concept eatery, Asian bun eatery, Jum Mum, on St. Mark’s Place in New York City, and a second branch of Spot Dessert Bar in New York City. In May 2014 he opened the Issaya Cooking Studio in partnership with Sub-Zero & Wolf Appliances and Issaya La Pâtisserie in Bangkok. In June 2014 he opened the sister restaurant of Hyde & Seek Gastro Bar – Hyde & Seek Peek-A-Boo – in Bangkok.
Chef Kittichai’s first cookbook for the English-language market, Issaya Siamese Club: Innovative Thai Cuisine by Chef Ian Kittichai, was released in April 2013 and placed in the top 3 for the Best Cookbook of The Year by the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. He is also a founding council member of The World Street Food Congress, along with Anthony Bourdain, KF Seetoh, and Claus Meyer, amongst other culinary luminaries. In September 2013 Chef was honored as the first Asia Geographical Indication Ambassador by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Thailand’s Department of Intellectual Property, and the Agence Francaise de Developpement.
Keep up with Chef via his website, www.iankittichai.com
Frederic Meyer: Founding Partner
In 2011, Meyer teamed up with long-time friend, Chef Ian Kittichai, to create the award-winning Issaya Siamese Club restaurant and lounge in Bangkok. In May 2014 they opened the Issaya Cooking Studio in partnership with Sub-Zero & Wolf Appliances and Issaya La Patisserie in Bangkok. In June 2014 Frederic and Ian again joined forces to create the playful Asian gastro bar, Namsaah Bottling Trust.
Meyer and Avril Production’s first cookbook collaboration with Chef Ian Kittichai, Issaya Siamese Club: Innovative Thai Cuisine by Chef Ian Kittichai, was released in April 2013 and placed in the top 3 for the Best Cookbook of The Year by the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
In 2014 Meyer opened the acclaimed Bangkok pizza restaurant, Pizza Massilia. In 2015 he opened the playful Japanese restaurant Kom-Ba-Wa, Bordier Selection Cheese and Butter, and the thought-provoking art gallery, YenakArt Villa, in Bangkok, Issaya Siamese Club in Hong Kong, and Lation Family Cuisine restaurant Manda de Laos in Luang Prabang.
Justin Dunne: Founding Partner
Before collaborating as one of the founding partners of Namsaah Bottling Trust, Justin Dunne held several high profile gigs in Bangkok, Thailand including 7 years as the GM of the iconic Bed Supperclub and the Director of Bars & Clubs for Ku De Ta, Bangkok, which at the time of it’s inception was the largest F&B operation outside of a hotel in Thailand.
With over 25 years of global experience in the food &beverage industry, Justin launched “Evolution48,” (www.evolution48.com) a hospitality producing firm, in February of 2015. Handling everything from conceptual development to pre-opening, from marketing activation to cocktail menus, Justin has been fortunate to continue working alongside some of the biggest names and industry leaders in SE Asia.
In addition, Justin is a regular judge on international cocktail competitions, the lead cocktail instructor at Le Cordon Bleu, Bangkok and often a guest speaker at F&B conferences on the current trends for restaurants, bars, and nightclubs in Bangkok.
In December, 2015 Justin, in a collaborative move with well known, local working chefs, launched “Frying Pan Canvas,” a ‘living-room’ pop-up dinner platform.